• Home
  • About
  • Recipes
  • Books
  • Contact
A note to readers: For the next several months, a bit of medical mischief (new hips! new knees!) will knock me off my feet. To get ready, I've been cooking up a storm, and I have a summer's worth of brand new recipes to share with you. Though I might not be in the kitchen or scouring local markets for new pantry ingredients, and blog posts might not always reach you on their usual days, I'll be here, responding to comments, answering questions, and working on ebooks. (Truth? I'll probably be reading legal thrillers and binge-watching Modern Family, and maybe Mad Men, again.) To make sure you never miss a recipe, use the box at right to sign up for free email updates.

July 26, 2015

Pan-fried tuna croquettes

Pan-fried tuna croquettes with a crunchy panko crust.

My maternal grandmother, the only real cook in our family, used to make salmon croquettes for me when I was a little girl, and I thought they were the best thing ever. She started with canned salmon, and mashed in some frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn), plus bread crumbs to hold everything together. And an egg. If there were any spices besides salt and pepper, I'd be surprised. She pan-fried the croquettes in oil, the same way she made potato pancakes for Chanukah. When I had a craving recently for Grandma's salmon croquettes, I grabbed instead a can of tuna from the pantry, and found that I had most all of the ingredients for these patties in my pantry, too. My adult palate likes a little bit of heat, in the form of red pepper flakes, and the extra crunch of panko bread crumbs (though you could certainly use regular bread crumbs, or even gluten-free crumbs). I've swapped fresh vegetables for the frozen peas and carrots, but in spirit, these are the croquettes my grandmother used to cook for me. Make them small, for appetizers, or larger patties, for a lunch or light supper main dish.

Read more "Pan-fried tuna croquettes" »

July 25, 2015

Basil: like or dislike?

Basil plants in the herb garden

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, and favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

Do you remember when pesto was exotic, or when caprese was not a household word? Not growing up in an Italian family, I didn't know about the basil-based paste made with garlic and pine nuts and parmesan cheese, or the salad made from fresh basil leaves, tomato and mozzarella. Once I discovered these two mainstays of Italian cuisine, there was no turning back. In my herb garden at the log house, I planted lots of basil, and I made batches of pesto for the freezer and for gifts to friends. Fresh basil leaves went into pastas, and salads, and sandwiches. Here in the city, we haven't yet organized an herb garden, but I'm planning to buy a few basil plants at the farmers market, and keep them on my kitchen windowsill. How about you? Do you love basil and can't get enough of it? Do you have a favorite variety of basil in your garden?

Basil: like or dislike?

Read more "Basil: like or dislike?" »

July 22, 2015

Burgers, burgers, burgers! The Perfect Pantry's favorites for summer grilling

Nothing beats an old-fashioned cheeseburger!

Nothing tops a juicy cheeseburger cooked to perfection on the grill. Nothing. I'm pretty sure I'd opt for a burger over my favorite jambalaya or garlic chicken skewers for my last meal. I love turkey burgers, and salmon burgers, and the occasional veggie burger, but at heart I'm a purist and adore my dribble-down-the-chin beef burgers. However, when it comes to toppings, I'm open to new ideas. Salsa and avocado, feta cheese, hummus -- I'll try it. How about you? Are you open-minded when it comes to burgers?

Read more "Burgers, burgers, burgers! The Perfect Pantry's favorites for summer grilling" »

July 19, 2015

Slow cooker Greek chicken roll-ups with tomato, olives and feta cheese

Shredded Greek chicken, made easy in the slow cooker, piles into tortilla wraps with tomato, olives and feta.

For the past three months, I've made a batch of this slow cooker Greek chicken at least once a week. From the first bite, it's been a family favorite, used for filling pitas, mixing in salads, or topping a pizza. The method is simple: start building flavor with Greek seasoning (my favorite Greektown "Billygoat" Seasoning comes from The Spice House) and then add more of each of the individual ingredients like oregano, lemon zest, and pepper to bump up it up even more. Bind the ingredients together with a bit of olive oil, and let the slow cooker do the rest. A quick shredding with two forks (or, as one of my readers suggested, a whir in the KitchenAid stand mixer) yields a large batch of ready-to-use or ready-to-freeze chicken. I love to toss some of this shredded chicken into a baby kale salad, with poppyseed or vinaigrette dressing, or into a chopped vegetable Greek salad. For picnics, roll-ups made with colorful spinach and tomato tortillas are lots of fun, easy to pack and transport, and everyone loves them.

Read more "Slow cooker Greek chicken roll-ups with tomato, olives and feta cheese" »

July 18, 2015

Quinoa: like or dislike?

Quinoa

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, and favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

Are you keen on quinoa? It's everywhere these days: in salads, soups, stir-fries, and stuffings. Some people are eating quinoa for breakfast, like oatmeal. I've seen quinoa pancakes and quinoa brownies. It comes in colors (white, red, black). I even have quinoa recipes on this blog. Yet, for all its versatility, I don't love it. Quinoa absorbs flavors from whatever surrounds it, and, like tofu, has little taste of its own, though people claim it's kind of nutty. Most likely it's the texture I don't like. If you love quinoa, please tell me: what am I missing? What's your favorite way to serve it?

Quinoa: like or dislike?

Read more "Quinoa: like or dislike?" »

Welcome to The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

Never miss a recipe

My best recipes

Shop here

  • Start your Amazon shopping here, and your purchases help support this site. Thank you.

Beat the drum

My Photo

Find me here too

Syndicated on BlogHer.com
Blog powered by Typepad